228 W 10th St
(between Bleecker St & Hudson St)
New York, NY 10014
I have yet to find an Italian restaurant that I love in NYC. I miss the North End in Boston, where the Italian restaurants serve up delicious pastas in the most unpretentious ways. The waiters and waitresses are sarcastic and on the verge of being rude but with good Italian humor. The restaurants are cozy and small, always packed with just a table or two too many. The food is served in large family style portions. Pasta is not called “rustic” but is just labeled “homemade” – really the same thing. Flavors are bold and chefs are not afraid to use large pieces of garlic. Prices are also reasonable. That’s a big one. Paying more than $20 for a non-seafood pasta just seems a bit odd to me. Well, with that being said, I’ve been on my search nonetheless. Last week we tried L’Artusi, a pretty well-known Italian restaurant in the city that we had not gone to yet. LAW and I were in the mood for pasta and fish and L’Artusi had just that.
We started with the Roasted Mushrooms with pancetta, fried egg, and ricotta salata ($17). This is the priciest appetizer on the menu but is also their most well-known. Almost every review I’ve come across about L’Artusi mentioned the roasted mushrooms as being amazing. And it really was quite good. The mushrooms had an amazing chewy texture, but more importantly, an AMAZING smokey flavor. The egg served as a nice creamifier as it added a bit of moisture to the mushrooms. Ricotta salata (ricotta that has been pressed, salted, and dried) was very light, which was great because when I first saw the dish, I was intimidated by the volume of cheese piled onto the shrooms. Luckily, they served little purpose other than adding a bit of saltiness. There were also little slices of roasted garlic and some kind of pickles, both adding a bit of sharpness to the dish. Yum. Though not $17 kind of yum. It’s really difficult to mess up mushrooms, eggs, and garlic and though the dish was good, it didn’t blow my mind.
This is the Orecchiette with sausage, salami, and pecorino ($18), rated one of the 12 most epic New York City pastas to eat before you die by Eater. The orecchiette pasta was cooked perfectly al dente, with a slight bit of elasticity when chewed. Sweet Italian sausage was good, though was nothing special. I loved the tinge of bitterness and the slight crisp texture the radicchio offered, it really complemented the sweetness of the sausage and the creaminess of the cheese. If it were up to me, I would’ve added a little more chili flakes to kick up the heat. Otherwise, it was a solid pasta dish. I, again, wasn’t overwhelmed by how awesome it was, but was happy with it. Continue reading L’Artusi, an Italian restaurant in West Village